Thanks so much for your prayers as I headed oﬀ to Mongolia. My main goal in visiting Mongolia was to help my friend Danny as he transitioned from prison life to life on the streets and, after being in the States for 20 years, to life in a “new”
culture. That small landlocked country has one of the richest histories and cultures of any in Asia. Greater than that are the wonderful people of Mongolia. Their history and their nomadic lifestyle, combined with the harshness of their geographic climate, has produced a people that are tough and extremely resourceful, yet with a strong sense of community and care for others.
Danny and I worked together to create a résumé, and we checked out a few of the job opportunities too. We also had a chance to travel around the country, and did some very cool things. Danny made sure I got immersed in the real Mongolian experience. We played with golden eagles, rode camels and visited herders living in yerts in the countryside. The food was AWESOME. The national dish is a great steamed meat dumpling. I ate mutton, marmot, horse and even sheep’s head and loved it all.
Danny and I also visited several churches. We visited one church that was started by missionaries from South Korea. The pastor spoke in Korean and it was translated to Mongolian. The church service had a distinct “Korean” feel and didn’t seem Mongolian at all. Instead of allowing the church to be expressed in the native culture they fully adapted to the culture of their leadership.
Seeing this reminded me of the church in prison. God has placed gifted leaders in the church behind the walls, and built the church in the unique culture of prison. He sends people from the outside to encourage and lead the church from time to time, but continues to preserve the culture and uniqueness of the prison church. Believe me, there’s nothing like it out here!